Certain individuals and organizations seek to attack, discredit, and intimidate scientists whose findings or fields of study threaten their financial interests or ideological beliefs.
These researchers are then forced to legally defend their work, correspondence, and public statements — and they’re often dragged into frivolous, expensive, time-consuming lawsuits. Regardless of the outcome, these cases hinder scientific progress by forcing scientists to focus on their legal battles instead of their research.
We offset damage to the scientific endeavor and assist scientists who are subjected to legal challenges by helping them find pro bono legal representation, supporting them during difficult litigation proceedings or when legal action is threatened, and raising funds for scientists’ legal defenses, which can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Pro Bono Legal Services for Scientists
When scientists are sued, the scientist’s employer institutions may take the lead on defense. In these cases we offer pro bono services in concert with the institutional effort, adding critical issue-specific expertise.
Sometimes scientists must become involved in cases as an individual. Most academic salaries cannot support long-term litigation expenses; in these cases we defend scientists directly, pro bono. Our in-house attorneys provide these services and our extensive network of lawyers provides additional support as needed.
We support litigations across the United States by filing amicus briefs — legal documents filed in court cases by non-litigants with a strong interest in the subject matter (also known as “friend-of-the-court” briefs). Amicus briefs provide additional information or arguments that the court might choose to consider.
Due to our niche knowledge in the emerging specialty area of defending scientists against invasive open records requests and other intimidation tactics, our amicus briefs add valuable information and historical and policy context to the court’s knowledge of cases.
Scientific societies, advocacy groups, and industry researchers often sign on to our briefs to show their support for protecting the integrity of the scientific endeavor.
If you’re a scientist who needs our services, please get in touch.